Basingstoke Drugs Gang jailed for total of 36 years
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Eight people have been sentenced to a total of 36 years in custody after admitting their roles in a 'slick, professional and extensive' Class A drugs network operating in Basingstoke.
One of the gang was also sentenced after being caught with a cocked and loaded sawn off shotgun in public after being stopped by police officers.
The eight defendants, who all played a part in the county lines gang - known as the G-Man line - were sentenced over three days at Winchester Crown Court on August 7, August 27 and August 28. They had all pleaded guilty to offences of conspiring to supply Class A drugs heroin and cocaine in the Basingstoke area.
The conspiracy was said to have been in operation from April 2018 to May 2019. On December 9, 2018, two members of the gang were stopped by police near Tewkesbury Close in Basingstoke.
Both ran off after throwing down a rucksack but Oliveira was caught by officers after a chase. The rucksack was found to contain a loaded and cocked sawn off double barrelled 12 bore shotgun.
Oliveira’s mobile phone was later examined and showed footage of him loading the gun inside Zani’s address in Tewkesbury Close.
The court heard the gang was assisted by licensed private hire driver Matt Temple. Judge Barnett described Temple as the 'Transport Division'. Temple himself was said to have a cocaine habit and would earn cash and drugs by chauffeuring the gang runners and dealers around at all hours of the day and night.
Prosecutor Mark Ruffell said the gang’s motivation was money - 'purely and simply'. There was little or no thought given to the consequences of this ‘terrible trade’ and the ‘resulting havoc it wreaks upon the lives in the grip of addiction’.
Following the sentencing, His Honour Judge Barnett praised the police officers involved in investigating the complex case. He said: "I would like to pay an enormous tribute to the officers who brought this case to justice. This was outstanding work. The sheer scale of this enquiry was just one of the complicating factors."
Judge Barnett added: "People who take these drugs ruin their lives. They are life destroying substances and those who are concerned in supplying them bear the condemnation of society."
Basingstoke’s District Commander Chief Inspector Karen McManus said: “This sentencing demonstrates that we will do everything in our power to stop Basingstoke being targeted by violent drugs networks because we know the harm and misery they cause to our communities.
“These sentences demonstrate that those who seek to make money out of plying such an evil trade need to look over their shoulders at all times because we are coming after you.
“Investigations such as this require painstaking work and thanks to the determination, professionalism and persistence of our officers, staff and legal team, this dangerous gang has now been completely dismantled.
“With the community supporting us and being our eyes and ears on the ground, we were able to make these arrests and get some very dangerous people and weapons off our streets.
“We can’t tackle this problem alone but with the help of our communities, we can take action against those intent on breaking the law.
“If you have any concerns about drug-related activity in your area, you can report it online via www.hampshire.police.uk or by please calling us on 101.”
Sentenced on August 27:
Jeffrey Zani, 20, of Tewkesbury Close, Popley, Basingstoke, admitted two offences of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs. He was sentenced to seven years and four months in a Young Offenders Institution for both counts, to run concurrently.
Louis Robinson-Ventour, 20, of Ashmead Road, Feltham, admitted two offences of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs. He was sentenced to six years and eight months in a Young Offenders' Institution on both counts to run concurrently.
Matthew Temple, 47, of Mendip Close, Buckskin, Basingstoke, admitted two counts of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs. He was sentenced to four years and eight months imprisonment for both counts to run concurrently..
Temple further admitted two counts of driving while disqualified and was sentenced to four months imprisonment on both counts, to run concurrently with the original sentence. He was also banned from driving for seven years.
Sentenced today, August 28:
Jack Oliveira, 21, of Lambeth, admitted two offences of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs in Basingstoke. He was sentenced to three years in a Young Offenders' Institution on each count, to run concurrently.
He also admitted possession of the sawn-off shotgun in a public place and was sentenced to five years imprisonment in a Young Offenders' Institution. The sentence will also run concurrently.
Abdirahman Abdi, 21, of Briscoe Close, Hounslow, admitted two offences of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs in Basingstoke and was sentenced to two years and eight months in a Young Offenders' Institution. He also pleaded guilty to a conspiracy to supply Class A drugs in Hounslow and was given a sentence of four years and four months, again to run concurrently.
At an earlier trial, Abdi had denied being in possession of a prohibited weapon in a public place. He was found not guilty by a jury.
Dexta Newman-Parsons, 18, of Quantock Close, Basingstoke, admitted two charges of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs in Basingstoke. He was sentenced to 20 months - suspended for two years. He was also ordered to complete 100 hours Community Payback work. The court heard he was the youngest person arrested as part of the conspiracy. He was 15 years old when he first got involved in the network.
Sentenced on August 7 were:
Mohammed Zazai, 20, of Sussex Avenue, Isleworth and Ayodeji Ade-Olisaemeka, 20, of Colson Road, Loughton.
Zazai was arrested in September of 2019 and the investigating officers discovered that he was running another Class A crack cocaine and heroin drug line in Hounslow. He pleaded guilty to two offences of being concerned in supplying Class A drugs, namely cocaine and heroin between March 1, 2019 and September 2, 2019 in the Hounslow area. He was sentenced to five years in a Young Offenders Institution.
Zazai further admitted being concerned in the supply of Class B Cannabis between July 1, 2018 and May 31, 2019. He was sentenced to two years in a Young Offenders Institution, also to run concurrently.
Ayodeji Ade-Olisaemeka, 20, of Colson Road, Loughton, pleaded guilty to six counts of conspiring to supply Class A controlled drugs, namely heroin and cocaine between April 1. 2018 and May 31, 2019, in the Basingstoke area; between October 1, 2018 and May 31, 2019, in the Borehamwood area and between November 1, 2018 and November 30, 2018, in the Hertford area.
He was sentenced to three years on each count in a Young Offenders Institution. All counts to run concurrently.
This operation was carried out under Hampshire Constabulary's Operation Fortress - designed to combat drug related harm across Hampshire. County Lines is the name given to drug dealing which involves organised crime groups from urban centres expanding their drug dealing activity to smaller towns and rural areas. Dealers typically use a single phone line to facilitate the supply of drugs which becomes a valuable asset and is protected with violence and intimidation.
As part of our Fortress plan we are committed to working with our partners to ensure Hampshire and the Isle of Wight is a hostile environment for those seeking to profit from drugs.
Are you concerned that cuckooing may be happening in your area? Here are the signs to look out for and what to do:
• Other people seen inside the house or flat who don’t normally live there • People coming and going from the property • More taxis and cars than usual appearing at the property • Not seeing the person who lives there as frequently • When you see the occupant, they may appear anxious or distracted • Seeing drugs paraphernalia near to a property
What you can do to help tackle it?
• Speak to local police on 101 or call 999 in an emergency; • If you’d rather stay anonymous, you can call the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111; • If you are a young person who is worried about being involved in County Lines, or knows someone who is, you can speak to an adult and let them know how you feel; • You can also contact www.fearless.org who allow you to pass on information about crime anonymously; • You can also contact Childline on 0800 1111 – they are a private and confidential service where you can talk to counsellors about anything that is worrying you.